Haresh Chawla, chief executive of Indian digital media house Network18, is leaving the company. In an announcement to the BSE, the firm said that Chawla had put in his papers and Network18 would hire his successor. However, it did not expound upon his future plans.
The Rs 2,500 crore Network18 group runs an Internet and mobile division called Web18 Software Services Ltd which is behind one of the top media sites Moneycontrol.com and fast-growing e-commerce site HomeShop18.com. It also operates Television Eighteen India Ltd that runs the CNBC channels CNBC TV18 and CNBC AWAAZ, and IBN channels CNN-IBN, IBN 7 and IBN-Lokmat, as well as the joint venture Viacom18 and wire services unit Newswire18.
“It is very rare for a professional to play a part in setting up so many businesses in a lifetime and to lead such a talented team as we have at Network18. Together, we built an enviable culture of excellence and speed at Network18 and I will work towards ensuring that this legacy is carried on with the new leaders in the group. Personally, it has been a most fulfilling phase of my life and I now look forward to taking on newer challenges,” Chawla is quoted as saying, in the statement.
Chawla has been at the helm of Network18 Group for the past decade. His leadership has resulted into the group reaching over 300 million households across various media platforms – television, print, films, mobile and the Internet. Chawla led the formation of the joint venture Viacom18 which now runs a number of channels including COLORS, MTV, Nickelodeon and Vh1, and the processing facility Studio18.
Raghav Bahl, founder and editor of Network18, said, “Perhaps Haresh’s greatest achievement is the strong cadre of next-generation leadership that he has nurtured at several of our group operations. Over the next few months, Haresh will work closely with me and this young crop of leaders to ensure a seamless transition of leadership. His can-do spirit is irretrievably woven into Network18’s DNA.”
Prior to joining Network18, Chawla was the business development head at HCL Comnet. He has also set up ABCL’s film distribution business and was instrumental in launching Times Music when he was with the Times of India Group.